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Rep. Koehler Passes Bill Clarifying Procedure for Malfunctioning Signal Lights

February 22, 2017
J. Kyle Koehler News

Press Release Poster

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House today passed House Bill 9, sponsored by State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), which clarifies the process for vehicles at a malfunctioning signal light.

In the 131st General Assembly, legislation was passed to establish procedures for vehicles to safely maneuver through an intersection when the signal light is not functioning properly. House Bill 9 was introduced to clarify that a vehicle is not permitted to proceed through the intersection simply because the signal detector does not appear to sense the presence of the vehicle.

“After passing the previous legislation, I believe that some motorists will assume they can run through a stop light after thinking they have waited long enough,” Koehler said. “We live in a hurried society, and quite frankly, I am convinced very few signal lights function properly when I’m in a hurry. However, this is not a valid reason for running a red light, and the bottom line is this loophole must be fixed.”

The legislation does allow for bicyclists to proceed through an intersection if the detector is unable to sense them. This exemption is permitted due to the major discrepancy in weight between a car and bicycle.

If passed by the Ohio Senate, the circumstances for a car being able to proceed through a malfunctioning intersection would be limited to two criteria: the signal facing the driver exhibits no colored lights or colored lighted arrows, or the signal exhibits a combination of lights or arrows that fails to clearly indicate the assignment of right-of-way.

House Bill 9 passed unanimously and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.